[LTER-students] Fwd: Drought Working Group @ ASM Grad Day

Ross Boucek rbouc003 at fiu.edu
Tue Aug 25 09:18:26 MDT 2015

Hi LTER students,

Please see announcement for a working group proposal that will be hosted at
the graduate student day on Sunday the 30th! A very cool student driven


Hi LTER Grad Reps! Hope life is peachy.

Following up on Siddharth's e-mail, Dom & I put together a rough outline of
our proposed drought working group. I was wondering if you could forward
this e-mail to the students at your sites who will be attending the ASM.
Below my signature, there is a brief summary of our plans/goals for the
drought working group as well as an attached optional-but-encouraged
"homework assignment" for people who are interested.

Have a good one!


*Title: *Drought resistance and resilience: Definitions, drivers, and
responses across LTER ecosystems


·        Compare & contrast ecosystem-level drought responses at different
LTER sites, focusing on what makes ecosystems resistant/resilient to drought

·        Refine research questions and identify a methodology to answer them

·        Submit proposal to LTER network for cross-site synthesis funding
to develop a manuscript


Ecological resistance is typically thought of as the magnitude of an
ecosystem response to a disturbance, while resilience is defined as the
ability to return to pre-disturbance state. However, drought differs from
other ecological disturbances in that the severity is defined as both a
magnitude and a duration. Unlike fire, for example, drought disturbance has
neither a clear start/end date nor an easily quantified spatial extent. Due
to the unique nature of drought, definitions of drought resistance and
drought resilience vary between studies, as do methods for quantifying and
evaluating drought resistance/resilience. Taking advantage of the Long Term
Ecological Research (LTER) network’s unique combination of long-term
datasets and hypothesis-driven research, we intend to address this
knowledge gap by answering 3 questions:

1.       How are drought resistance and drought resilience defined and
quantified, and how does this vary across ecosystems?

2.      What ecosystem attributes lead to drought resistance and drought

3.      Are the drivers of drought resistance and resilience the same?

Our goals for this working group are to:

·        Identify LTER research from different sites and ecosystems that
focuses on drought resistance and drought resilience

·        Generate a conceptual understanding of what drought
resistance/resilience mean

·        Discuss the quantitative and qualitative methods at our disposal
to answer our research questions

We hope to use this working group as a springboard to write a proposal to
the LTER Network Office to obtain cross-site synthesis funds. We would use
these funds to have a meeting dedicated to refining our ideas, and then
write and submit a manuscript to a journal such as *Global Change Biology*.
If you would like to participate, we’d encourage to do a bit of background
preparation (see the attached Word document for a case study template).
However, if you don’t have time, you’re still encouraged to join us at the

Feel free to forward this to anyone else who may be interested. Be in touch
with questions/comments and see you soon!

-Sam Zipper (szipper at wisc.edu) and Dom Ciruzzi (ciruzzi at wisc.edu), NTL-LTER
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